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10 Innovative Thinkers Who Will Up Your HR Game

Cornerstone Editors

There's no shortage of lists highlighting the best human resources influencers to follow on social media. But while staying up to date on the latest thoughts and trends in HR is important, recent research shows that truly excelling at your job requires stepping outside of your social media comfort zone.

According to a new study from MIT Sloan, the more diverse your Twitter network, the more likely you are to be innovative. The study found that employees following a broad range of people on Twitter consistently submitted higher quality ideas to their co-workers, citing one HR professional who follows a 70/30 rule: While 70 percent of the people she follows are directly relevant to her work, 30 percent include sources not connected to HR.

That's why we decided to put together a new kind of Twitter list for HR leaders—with smart, interesting people across multiple industries like media, architecture, economics, psychology and more.

While it's far from exhaustive, here are ten people who will expand your mind and, hopefully, inspire a fresh perspective on the future of work.

1. Seth Godin

Branding is top-of-mind for business leaders today, and the HR department is no exception. With company culture holding more weight for candidates, HR leaders are encouraged to think like marketers when it comes to recruiting. And who better to follow than the so-called "godfather of modern marketing," Seth Godin? Follow Godin for insights on branding in the digital age, spreading your ideas and reaching your customers.

Seth's Blog: Every marketing challenge revolves around these questions

— Seth Godin (@ThisIsSethsBlog) June 13, 2015

2. Brené Brown

In our data-driven age, it's more important than ever to keep the "human" in human resources. Brené Brown is a researcher who has spent the past decade studying the characteristics that define much of our humanity: vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame. Follow her for research, stories and thoughts on the value of vulnerability in our personal and professional lives.

#DareGreatly belongs to all of us. My thoughts on the new campaign by @Cadillac. #Oscars

— BreneBrown (@BreneBrown) February 23, 2015

3. David Leonhardt

Analytics is the new buzzword on the block in HR, so who better to expand your data-driven mindset than the editor of The New York Times' data section, The Upshot? Editor David Leonhardt will fill your feed with graphics and statistics on a variety of topics: sports, labor, economics, politics, modern love and more.

Paid family leave is suddenly a hot topic - in business, in state and local policy & in the 2016 campaign. @clairecm:

— David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) June 22, 2015

4. Susan Cain

The role of introverts in the workplace has been widely discussed lately, largely driven by writer and speaker Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Follow her for advice on fostering a safe workplace where introverts can thrive and tips on leadership if you're an introvert yourself.

"Who's a good example of an introverted leader?" asks a @livequiet reader. Watch this video for my answer: #introvert

— Susan Cain (@susancain) July 10, 2015

5. Piers Fawkes

We talk a lot about the future of work in the HR industry, but what about the future of everything else? Piers Fawkes is the founder and editor-in-chief of PSFK, a media company that covers new ideas—from the weird to the wonderful—in business, design, retail, tech and travel. His Twitter feed is inspired by innovators across the world, and may just spark a new idea or two for your office.

PSFK with @HPMatter introduce the #InnovatorsIndex, the ultimate ranking of global pioneers

— Piers Fawkes (@piers_fawkes) June 1, 2015

6. Bjarke Ingels

The future of work is closely tied to the future of the workplace, and architect Bjarke Ingels of BIG is at the forefront of office innovation. He's partnering with architect Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studios to build Google's touted new Mountainview, CA campus—which will feature community gardens, retail shops and transparent, flexible buildings (really). Follow Bjarke to learn more about his latest design projects and ideas, particularly for the workplace.

Bloomberg on our collaboration w Heatherwick for Google...

— BjarkeIngels (@BjarkeIngels) May 7, 2015

7. Marina Gorbis

While the future is always uncertain, Marina Gorbis probably has a better handle on it than most of us. She serves as the executive director of the Institute for the Future (IFTF), a Silicon Valley nonprofit research and consulting organization, where she conducts long-term qualitative and quantitative research. Gorbis' feed will provide insights and projections on technology, sociology and economics—all of which have a fundamental impact on the changing nature of work.

We r not racing against or with machines, the race is about our values and priorities #AutomatedWorld

— marina gorbis (@mgorbis) June 16, 2015

8. Nilofer Merchant

In order to get a seat at the table, HR leaders are asked to adopt a business mindset. Nilofer Merchant has been growing businesses for over 20 years, launched more than 100 products and netted over $18B in sales. Dubbed the "Jane Bond of Innovation," her Twitter feed will offer knowledge on collaboration, holistic business strategy and the power of ideas.

Ideas may be born of you, but they are not yours. Like children. Your job is to get them ready for the world.

— Nilofer Merchant (@nilofer) June 8, 2015

9. Annie Murphy Paul

Learning and development is a priority for HR teams today, and understanding the science of learning is a priority for Annie Murphy Paul. A writer who studies learning in humans at every stage of life and today, she's focused on training and re-training American workers to maintain the nation's economic competitiveness. Follow her to understand how people learn—and how we can do it better.

"If you can't tell someone how to think, then you have to learn to manage the environment *where* they think":

— Annie Murphy Paul (@anniemurphypaul) October 6, 2014

10. Greg McKeown

With countless tasks on your to-do list and, now, 10 more people to pay attention to on Twitter, you might be feeling overwhelmed. Add productivity expert Greg McKeown to your list to keep yourself sane. McKeown is the author of the best-selling book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, and offers tips on strategizing your time, prioritizing tasks and allowing yourself to be selective. In our non-stop world, take a moment and help yourself to his advice.

If you don't prioritize your life, someone else will. #Essentialism

— Greg McKeown (@GregoryMcKeown) July 3, 2015

Photo: Shutterstock

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